“Downward Facing Dog”, “Reclining Bound Angle”, “Tortoise” – while unversed people cock their heads at these terms, enthusiasts have spread out their mats and are ready for the next exercise. It’s all about yoga! Relaxation, strength, balance – whatever you want to achieve, you can make it happen with yoga. In this blog post, I’ll give you the best tips for yoga beginners and my three favourite poses!
I have to start out with a confession: not long ago, I couldn’t really do much with yoga. If there’s one thing I’m really bad at, it’s maintaining my balance – something that’s obviously necessary for yoga, even for poses on the ground! Even the meditative aspect was difficult for me, as each of my attempts to concentrate ended in laughter and the conclusion that I was simply not made for yoga. Fortunately, I was proven wrong. The fit staff at the TUI BLUE hotels regularly offer classes in yoga, so I’ve been able to try it again during my holidays on the Turkish Aegean. After all, you can look out on the sea from the yoga platform, and that’s a pretty compelling reason to try. So I got caught up in this exciting (relaxing) adventure…
What Namasté Means
The yoga class begins with a greeting, the Namasté. In doing so, the palms are guided towards one another and placed close to the heart, in front of the chest. The eyes are closed and the head is slightly bowed. “Namasté” (Hindi, Sanskrit) translates to “I bow to you” and not only signals mutual respect, but also creates a link between the participants.
The yoga exercises that follow are a good blend of the different aspects of yoga as it’s practised in the Western world. Many movements focus on strength, others on endurance or breathing. Additionally, there are exercises which, above all, demand and promote concentration. I have listed my favourite poses for you here:
1. The Half Moon
This yoga pose helps you improve your balance and gives you new energy at the same time. Stand upright in a loose position and place your left hand in your left hip. Bend your right knee and place your left foot slightly forward. Extend your right arm forward and let yourself slowly tilt forward until you touch the ground with your right hand. Meanwhile, lift your left leg off the ground and stretch it backwards and upwards. Now your right leg should also be extended and your left arm should point upwards. Your upper body should rotate slightly. Your weight should be mainly on the standing leg. Stay in this position for about 30 seconds and then return to the starting position. Repeat the exercise with the other side. My tip: tightening the abdominal muscles and keeping your eyes on a fixed point will help you keep your balance.
2. Downward Facing Dog
In addition to a long-term stretch, this pose also demands strength. You go down on all fours with your knees just below your hips and your hands at about shoulder-level or slightly in front of them. Now rise to your feet without your hands leaving the ground. Straighten your legs as far as you can so that you form a triangle with the ground, with your hips as the highest point. Try to keep your heels down and keep your back as straight as possible. Hold this position for about one minute and then return to the starting position.
3. Breathing Exercise
The breathing exercises are also called “pranayama”, and there are different types of breathing in yoga. It’s important to be aware of what we often forget in everyday life. Here’s a simple exercise for controlled breathing: Sit in an upright position on the floor and cross your legs in front so that your knees point outwards. Your back should be straight, with your hands resting on your knees. Close your eyes and breathe deeply through your nose. Your mouth should stay closed. There are two types of breathing: through the chest and through the abdomen. Breathing through the chest is marked by the shoulders and chest rising. If you’re breathing from the abdomen, your shoulders should stay still. Instead, the belly inflates. My tip: Put a hand on your abdomen or chest and try to use the different methods of controlled breathing. If you’d like, you can also switch it up.
Yoga at TUI BLUE – All Inclusive
Not so difficult, is it? I’ve found that this form of movement and meditation refreshes me, and after my yoga sessions I try to integrate it as much as possible into my everyday life. Depending on what I’m feeling at the moment, I tend to use one of these three exercises to find inner balance, especially in stressful situations. Try it out and write a comment on how it works for you!
By the way: If you want to try out the yoga sessions, the Bodyweight Course, or other fitness activities at the TUI BLUE hotels – or you’d like to schedule regular hours on a holiday in Turkey – you can do so free of charge. Our BLUEf!t Guides are also available to help you with any questions you might have. I wish you every success and above all: may the balance be with you!